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Denair falls to RC
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Denair's Adam Rudd leaps into the air to catch a pass down the middle of the field during the second half of Fridays loss to the Knights. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

Denair High is still searching for its first win of the season after Friday’s 44-14 loss to Ripon Christian High. The Coyotes showed flashes of offensive productivity in the first half as Dominyc Silva led from under center, but their defensive unit had no answer for the Knights’ rushing attack which was led by Andrew Brown.

“We played with a lot of heart and determination,” Denair head coach Rich Goodwin said. “They never quit, so we’re getting over that hump and playing real hard.”

Denair found itself playing from behind almost immediately as RC scored on the very first play from scrimmage on a 58 yard double-reverse, flea-flicker pass to Jared Stuit. RC was back on the board less than five minutes later after a Keegan Rivera interception inside the Knights’ 10 yard led to a 65 yard touchdown run from Brown who scored again from 16 yards out before the end of the first quarter.

Down 18-0, Denair’s offense finally caught wind as Silva and Weston Fair established a passing connection that enable the Coyotes to move downfield. Silva capped off an 18 play drive with a QB sneak from the 2-yard line for Denair’s first point of the night, but the momentum was short lived as Brown found pay dirt from 70 yards out on the second play of RC’s next possession.

Silva responded with a 6 yard touchdown strike to Adam Rudd with 35 seconds left in the second quarter to make it 25-14 at the half.

“They’ve been playing all the way through youth football and they have a lot of connection already,” Goodwin said of the Silva and Fair. “They know their moves and they practice in the summer a lot.”

Denair opened the second half with much of the same in the passing game while Trey Howze earned hard fought yards on the ground. Despite the effort, Denair was unable to find the end zone again and was forced to watch as Brown scored two more touchdowns—from 7 and 50 yards out—while the Knights continued to pass and run the score up with a 23 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Billy Marr to receiver Spencer Hower.

A running clock was implemented after RC’s final score.

“They ran it up last year against us, but at least they kneeled at the very end,” Goodwin said. “That shows a little bit.”

Silva finished the night with 18 completed passes on 33 attempts for 175 passing yards and 1 TD in addition to his 21 rushing yards and 1 rushing TD. Fair finished with 89 reception yards and Howze finished with 49 rushing yards.

Brown ended the night with 340 yards and 5 TDs.

The Coyotes—who have been dealing with the loss of starters Alex Valle, Austin Hughes, and Brandon Steeley to injury—will continue their search for victory next Friday against Mariposa County High at home.

“We’re just building. That’s what we’re trying to do: build a belief that we can do it,” Goodwin said.